Cartmel Quaker Meeting House

Cartmel Quaker Meeting House

Cartmel Quaker Meeting House:

George Fox, the founding father of Quakerism, first visited the North West of England in 1652.

Almost immediately after he arrived in the area, he made his way to Swarthmoor Hall near Ulverston which was the hospitable home of Judge and Margaret Fell.

He was a man with tremendous charisma and a powerful message. He was determined to deliver to anyone who would listen.

He made a great impact on Margaret Fell and the rest of the household.

In those days Cartmel Fell formed part of Lancashire. Today it is in Cumbria nestling between the beautiful Lakeland Fells and Morecambe Bay.

Fox got to know the area well and preached from a stone (now listed) near Pool Bank close to Witherslack. Before long small groups of people were regularly meeting in farmhouses and cottages.

In 1670, high up on a fell a couple of miles from High Newton, the Height Meeting House was built.

There was good reason for building the Meeting House in such an isolated location.

Cartmel Quaker Meeting House

On the opposite side of the road from Height Meeting House is a simple  Quaker burial ground which is still in use today..

Access is through a lych gate where there are 20 headstones on land given by Lawrence Newton in the 1670s.

In keeping with the Quaker concept of equality, there are no opulent tombs or statues; instead, each simple stone is a copy of its neighbour.

Cartmel Quaker Meeting House

Being well away from the village of Cartmel and its large priory was one good reason.

Fox and his followers were dissenters and had to deal with a great deal of harassment and persecution.

A couple of examples to mention include when George Fox visited Cartmel in 1652 to speak in the Priory; the Rev. Philip Bennet declined to debate with him and Fox was knocked down in the churchyard by parishioners.

On another occasion, when visiting Lindale, he was thrown into a horse trough!

Both he and Margaret Fell spent many years in prison.

Once the railway arrived in Grange-over-Sands the population of Grange and Cartmel increased significantly.

In 1858, land and property were purchased on Haggs Lane, Cartmel, so a new Meeting House was could be built to accommodate the increased population.

Included in the total cost of the purchase was an additional sum of £50 for building a small stable within the grounds of the Meeting House.

It is reasonable to assume that in the mid-19th century a few Friends arrived either on horseback or in a cart or small carriage.


Cartmel Quaker Meeting House

After over 150 years the gig house and stables are still there and a reminder of long-gone days when the pace of life was much slower.

When the land for the new Meeting House was purchased it came with two small cottages.

Cartmel Quaker Meeting House

The rent from these cottages was of real value in providing an additional source of income for the Meeting House.

If you are looking for accommodation in the Cartmel area, Lothlorien in Kents Bank is an ideal place to stay. Click here for enquiries.


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June 3rd
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